NO TIME TO DIE (2021) - First Reactions vs. Current Reactions

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Comments

  • Mathis1 wrote: »
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    bondsum wrote: »
    I've just seen NTTD and I really liked the PTS and pretty much everything up to and including Jamaica and Cuba. I really loved Ana de Armas and could've done with more Paloma throughout the entire movie. Looking back, it's when Bond bids farewell to Paloma that things start to unravel quickly for me. Sure, I still like some of the snappy dialogue between M and Bond, and loved Craig's overall performance, but found myself becoming increasingly detached from the story as it progressed. When we head into Liam Neeson territory of a child-in-peril after dispatching two of its reprising characters, is where it stops being a thrilling Bond ride. My overall conclusion is that NTTD has a very strong start and a mediocre second half. The finale didn't pack the same emotional punch for me as perhaps it has done for many others here due to my detachment from the story at roughly the midway mark. I also found Madeleine Swann's final words to her doe-eyed daughter in the car total cringe. However, I did enjoy James Bond will Return featured in the end credits. Roll on Bond 26.

    Yes, I was about to post something similar about Madeleine and her daughter at the end!
    When I think back of my first viewing of CR and Craigs brilliant delivery of THAT line at the end, I left the cinema in total elation!
    Here, as you stated, I cringed!

    On reflection I find myself thinking your both spot on NTTD went tits up after Cuba and the end bit was really cringey, apart from Louis Armstrong always great to hear Satchmo though bit cheesy in this context.

    I didnt mind them using the theme at the beginning, but hated them playing the song from my favourite Bond movie at the end!
    'We have all the time in the world' will be forever associated with OHMSS to me, and shouldnt be played in another Bond movie!

    Your probably right, but the song always reminds me of going to see OHMSS on it's release with my late father, so special for me.
  • Posts: 2,400
    bondywondy wrote: »
    Some people may dislike this comment but just how I feel. I think the decision to kill off Bond was a spiteful one. The reason being Eon would know many fans would hate the decision, be sad and depressed and yet they went ahead with it. It feels like a "#$% the fans" decision.

    If you met Barbara Broccoli and said "I was very unhappy you killed Bond" what is she going to say? I know what she will think...

    "I couldn't care less."

    Why should fans unhappy with Bond dying support Bond 26? All you're doing is giving her your money. I'm not saying boycott Bond 26, okay maybe I am (!)... but what I mean is don't automatically give Eon a free pass. For example, if you think killing Bond was unforgivable, don't buy the dvd/bluray/digital stream of No Time To Die. Make a stand by not purchasing a copy.

    As always, just my opinion. 😉

    Okay but do you see the difference between this and your previous comments on the matter? If you *feel* this was spiteful, I disagree, but fair enough. But this comment is something I can engage in an actual dialogue with far better than the idea that no "true fans" of Bond or whatever could like this film.

    That being said, unless I've missed something, you haven't seen NTTD, and I really encourage you to at least give it one viewing on the biggest screen possible with as open a mind as possible.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,023
    bondywondy wrote: »
    Some people may dislike this comment but just how I feel. I think the decision to kill off Bond was a spiteful one. The reason being Eon would know many fans would hate the decision, be sad and depressed and yet they went ahead with it. It feels like a "#$% the fans" decision.

    If you met Barbara Broccoli and said "I was very unhappy you killed Bond" what is she going to say? I know what she will think...

    "I couldn't care less."

    Why should fans unhappy with Bond dying support Bond 26? All you're doing is giving her your money. I'm not saying boycott Bond 26, okay maybe I am (!)... but what I mean is don't automatically give Eon a free pass. For example, if you think killing Bond was unforgivable, don't buy the dvd/bluray/digital stream of No Time To Die. Make a stand by not purchasing a copy.

    As always, just my opinion. 😉

    At least you are willing to concede that it is just your opinion
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 389
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I think we're getting into some wishful thinking here. To say that EON will lose money or even should lose money is a bit of a leap, and I personally find it more spiteful than anything No Time To Die has done for those who disliked it.

    Have you seen the figures, the movie has to take $900 million to break even at the last count, in covid times, no matter how optimistic you are this will not be happening, even with China passing the movie for distribution.
  • Posts: 6,677
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I don't worry about them starting fresh with the next one. Yes, I realize they could still have the character as miraculously not dead from this one - but that does not seem necessary to me. I am okay if they do that (as long as it's done well). But just starting fresh is fine, and I don't mean starting with a remake of CR. No - just new stories, please, from elements of Fleming novels. I will put more thought into what I think the next Bond film should be like, but it does not worry me. Plenty of options to go in different directions.

    It'd be a fools' errand to ever try and do Casino Royale in a contemporary setting again because not only can that adaptation not be beat, I would bet any sum of money that there will never be a Bond film that comes along that I rank above it. The only other way I would ever want to see CR done is if they did a set of period piece serials that adapted the novels in order.

    This is one of my all-time greatest fan wishes, executed in a dream world where they adapt the novels 100% accurately from start to finish. I'd pay damn good money for something like this.

    So would I.

    And I.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    As a lifelong Bond fan, I always want the new Bond film to do great at the box office. Yes, even the ones I don't particularly care for. Of course, I want it to be a huge hit - I want the series to continue to be popular. I want more Bond films. The next Bond will be different, as it should be. And each Bond actor has brought something to the series. I would never say boycott a Bond film, no matter how much I disliked it (and only one came close to me really getting upset with it; decades ago).
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 2021 Posts: 5,869
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I think we're getting into some wishful thinking here. To say that EON will lose money or even should lose money is a bit of a leap, and I personally find it more spiteful than anything No Time To Die has done for those who disliked it.
    Have you seen the figures, the movie has to take $900 million to break even at the last count, in covid times, no matter how optimistic you are this will not happening, even with China passing the movie for distribution.
    Yes, but we knew that already. My comment is in reference to the opinion above that the film should specifically lose money because of its contents, or because some people disliked it.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,689
    Denbigh wrote: »
    I think we're getting into some wishful thinking here. To say that EON will lose money or even should lose money is a bit of a leap, and I personally find it more spiteful than anything No Time To Die has done for those who disliked it.

    Have you seen the figures, the movie has to take $900 million to break even at the last count, in covid times, no matter how optimistic you are this will not happening, even with China passing the movie for distribution.

    I probably doesn't need to take in $900 million.
  • HerrBondHerrBond Berlin
    Posts: 50
    On the German Bond board I've read an idea for the ending which I think would have been much better than the killing of Bond, so I'll just put it here.

    it would have fitted to Bond's and Madeleine's character (daughter of an assassin and she didn't want Bond to see his daughter before as well):
    Bond is believed dead but survives badly injured. He is fished out of the sea and taken to a ship, where he is examined like in DAD. Q wants to inform Madeleine and the others that he's alive but that he was infected by Safin and would kill Madeleine and Mathilde if they get in touch with him. Bond can prevent Q from informing anyone about him and so he officially remains missing (as Bond knows he can't be with Madeleine and Mathilde anymore).

    Jump to the future: Madeleine and Mathilde are playing on the beach in Matera (or elsewhere). She tells her a story about her father, Bond. James Bond. Suddenly Mathildes cuddly toy is being washed up on the beach in front of them. Madeleine looks around and just sees someone disappearing in the distance. You can see in her eyes that she actually knows exactly who it was. She smiles briefly. End.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 15
    HerrBond wrote: »
    On the German Bond board I've read an idea for the ending which I think would have been much better than the killing of Bond, so I'll just put it here.

    it would have fitted to Bond's and Madeleine's character (daughter of an assassin and she didn't want Bond to see his daughter before as well):
    Bond is believed dead but survives badly injured. He is fished out of the sea and taken to a ship, where he is examined like in DAD. Q wants to inform Madeleine and the others that he's alive but that he was infected by Safin and would kill Madeleine and Mathilde if they get in touch with him. Bond can prevent Q from informing anyone about him and so he officially remains missing (as Bond knows he can't be with Madeleine and Mathilde anymore).

    Jump to the future: Madeleine and Mathilde are playing on the beach in Matera (or elsewhere). She tells her a story about her father, Bond. James Bond. Suddenly Mathildes cuddly toy is being washed up on the beach in front of them. Madeleine looks around and just sees someone disappearing in the distance. You can see in her eyes that she actually knows exactly who it was. She smiles briefly. End.
    That could also be the opening of the next movie. ;)

  • Oh how I wish I didn't spoil this for myself, but as they say curiosity killed the cat...

    I have a thought though...what's the likelihood that the rumor of them filming different endings for this movie being true?

    If so, would they dare to present a different ending in cinimas in different regions (ie, the US)? Perhaps quite wishful thinking, but I feel like it would be an interesting experiment never tried before in cinema history. People like me who have spoiled the film for themselves in regions with later openings would get an unexpected surprise. It would perhaps undermine their big decision, but also soften the blow with fans.
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Classified
    Posts: 265
    The more I read regarding NTTD’s negative aspects, the less in inclined I am to see this in the theatre. This may well be the first time since seeing Bond onscreen for the first time back in ‘99 that I’ll be skipping a James Bond film.
  • I'm not making this up and yes it's nothing to do with the quality of the film, the simple financial maths are that this movie will undoubtably loose money, it lost $18 million net in interest payments alone because of the delays which means an extra $72 million gross at the box office to cover this plus for every additional month the loan is not payed off you need $4 million at the box office, big budget movie finance is as precarious as shorting an Aviation Manufacturer with Bond around..... ;)
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,689
    I'm not making this up and yes it's nothing to do with the quality of the film, the simple financial maths are that this movie will undoubtably loose money, it lost $18 million net in interest payments alone because of the delays which means an extra $72 million gross at the box office to cover this plus for every additional month the loan is not payed off you need $4 million at the box office, big budget movie finance is as precarious as shorting an Aviation Manufacturer with Bond around..... ;)

    It all comes from a piece-of-crap article at MI6 HQ that doesn't account for even one dollar of the massive product placement deals this movie has. Subtract the numbers you mention above and you're still alleging that they made a movie that has to outgross the last one just to break even. And by the way, if you apply the same math to the other Craig films, probably only Skyfall made money at all. And that's nonsense.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    Posts: 5,869
    Sorry to repeat myself, but I think this got lost in the conversation and wondered if anyone else had any thoughts on these small bits. Primo looked so cool, throughout, but especially in Cuba - the scene where he's with Valdo. And I really loved Ash's little laugh when Valdo kicked the gun to him.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 389
    I'm not making this up and yes it's nothing to do with the quality of the film, the simple financial maths are that this movie will undoubtably loose money, it lost $18 million net in interest payments alone because of the delays which means an extra $72 million gross at the box office to cover this plus for every additional month the loan is not payed off you need $4 million at the box office, big budget movie finance is as precarious as shorting an Aviation Manufacturer with Bond around..... ;)

    It all comes from a piece-of-crap article at MI6 HQ that doesn't account for even one dollar of the massive product placement deals this movie has. Subtract the numbers you mention above and you're still alleging that they made a movie that has to outgross the last one just to break even. And by the way, if you apply the same math to the other Craig films, probably only Skyfall made money at all. And that's nonsense.

    Your entitled to your view as am I, however after leaving the forces I retrained as a financial accountant obtaining a degree from the Open University, so I'm speaking from a position of some understanding, are you? I maybe retired now but high finance as I'm aware hasn't changed much, sorry if I seem condescending but I've had to fight long & hard to convince so many people with their head in the sand during my career that I get a bit cranky.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    I think there were very nice touches by several actors in this movie. Ash was a great villain (I know not the main villain - just OTT clean cut too smiley Mormon looking boy actually housing a psycho. Primo was very well done. They both (once Ash showed his true colors) reeked of menace and violence.
  • Posts: 501
    I liked the decision to kill Bond. It was a bold one. I have always liked to think of the Craig movies as their own pocket universe. Separated from the rest of the franchise. It was a good implosion to show as either the same universe we once knew or a new one with some new characteristics. The only thing I don't like is that this means there won't be any spin-offs with either Paloma or Nomi. And it's something that I would've liked to see. Especially with the latter.
  • patb wrote: »
    "I'm genuinely in turmoil over this film" I think it' fair to say, you are not on your own :-)
    Bond wrote: »
    Jimjambond wrote: »
    matt_u wrote: »
    matt_u wrote: »
    This may be the most depressing thread ever. Jesus Christ…

    +1

    Just wait until a journalist joins the forums and we get an article about how us Bond fans are all moaning infants based on the evidence of this thread.... :))

    For what is worth my show yesterday was sold out and at the end everybody cheered in excitement. Perhaps the film is garbage only to some hardcore fans.

    Do audiences like Bond? For years I've read and heard people calling for Bond to end and with Bond being unceremoniously decimated, and seeing people rate this as a great movie, or best Bond ever and to hear people cheering at the end, I have to question if this is more a celebration of thinking this is an end to Bond mores than triumphant appraisal of the movie being THAT good.

    Great point. I think many are applauding the film for killing off the "outdated misogynist white male colonizer" whether they admit it, even to themselves, or not.

    Yes, James will return but in what form? I think folks who are hoping for something closer to the Bond films of yore are going to be sorely disappointed.

    Some have even said (this is likely too far-fetched) that they are setting up Bond's daughter to be his successor and that Paloma will be her "trainer". It sounds crazy but that's par for the course in today's mainstream Hollywood, and I wouldn't place the Bond saga outside that realm of influence.

    'par for the course in today's hollywood'. Please tell us over the last 5 years the number of action films with a male lead, and the number with a female lead, and exactly who all these male characters being replaced with females are?

    You're all shouting at clouds, inventing some radical agenda to get mad at. Well you haven't invented it, you've been fed it by the media because a culture war is very useful to them, it's better normal people are fighting each other than focussing on what their rulers are up to.

    But you're right on one thing, you're certainly not woke because you've completely asleep to what's going on and you're being manipulated to stop you seeing what really matters. Ask yourself, why did people not lose their minds over the misogynist dinosaur bit in Goldeneye? That was far more 'woke' than anything in this film. So why is everyone suddenly so angry but they weren't then? Social media and an invented culture war. I'm sure if you really think about it, you're not really worried about these things and you'll realise there's much more important things you should be angry about, like the government stealing millions upon millions of pounds, corruption, crumbling services etc etc and you're getting worked up because films are allowed to sometimes have women in them now. Really?
  • RedNineRedNine Poland
    Posts: 71
    If they really had mulitple endings prepared then they clearly went with the one that made the most sense for the movie itself rather than the one that would make most sense for the franchise going forward. Just add a scene where Bond somehow survives the blast- Bond can still be the agent, he has his number back, he can't interact with Madeline and the kid anyway.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    I am sure different endings were discussed by all the decision makers and higher ups. More than once. They went with the boldest decision - and it fits this film, and it serves Craig's Bond well. Emotional, gut punch but it does work. I think we were lucky to have Cary as director; very much so.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 389
    I'm not making this up and yes it's nothing to do with the quality of the film, the simple financial maths are that this movie will undoubtably loose money, it lost $18 million net in interest payments alone because of the delays which means an extra $72 million gross at the box office to cover this plus for every additional month the loan is not payed off you need $4 million at the box office, big budget movie finance is as precarious as shorting an Aviation Manufacturer with Bond around..... ;)

    It all comes from a piece-of-crap article at MI6 HQ that doesn't account for even one dollar of the massive product placement deals this movie has. Subtract the numbers you mention above and you're still alleging that they made a movie that has to outgross the last one just to break even. And by the way, if you apply the same math to the other Craig films, probably only Skyfall made money at all. And that's nonsense.

    in addition you mention the artical on our hosting website being a piece-of-crap, not very hospitable considering you wouldn't be here without them. By the way it's not bad, the figures are sound so not BS, however you are right in that SF made a lot of money because of the poor performance of QoS, box office percentage of take very high, this meant that when SP came out EON/MGM/SONY were able to command a higher percentage of the receipts because of the potential box office, however SP didn't do as well so NTTD is faced with a smaller take of the box office receipts, QED it will need to take considrably more than SP to make the same, add on additional advertising budgets because of the delays, additional interest payments on loans and your looking at a loss, with regard to product placement this is a drop in the ocean compared to the overall budget.
  • patb wrote: »
    Sorry if mentioned before but Hugh Dennis? 100% guaranteed to take UK viewers out of the movie. What's the point? What next ? Ricky Gervais as a henchman?

    I have a weird question : when I saw him I saw "a face I knew" and yet I'm French. I looked at Hugh Dennis' filmography and couldn't understand how this face could be familiar to me as a French ? Was he at one time in the international public eye ?! How do I know his face ?
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,689
    I'm not making this up and yes it's nothing to do with the quality of the film, the simple financial maths are that this movie will undoubtably loose money, it lost $18 million net in interest payments alone because of the delays which means an extra $72 million gross at the box office to cover this plus for every additional month the loan is not payed off you need $4 million at the box office, big budget movie finance is as precarious as shorting an Aviation Manufacturer with Bond around..... ;)

    It all comes from a piece-of-crap article at MI6 HQ that doesn't account for even one dollar of the massive product placement deals this movie has. Subtract the numbers you mention above and you're still alleging that they made a movie that has to outgross the last one just to break even. And by the way, if you apply the same math to the other Craig films, probably only Skyfall made money at all. And that's nonsense.

    Your entitled to your view as am I, however after leaving the forces I retrained as a financial accountant obtaining a degree from the Open University, so I'm speaking from a position of some understanding, are you? I maybe retired now but high finance as I'm aware hasn't changed much, sorry if I seem condescending but I've had to fight long & hard to convince so many people with their head in the sand during my career that I get a bit cranky.

    Did you learn about how EON Productions finances it's movies and are you aware of how much money they get from non-box office deals? I read the source of the $928 million break-even point and it is obvious nonsense.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 7
    Can anyone explain what happened with Primos allegiance during it? He started off working for spectre then he is involved in wiping them out and is working for Safin lol. Pretty sure he was working for spectre too when he kidnapped Valdo so am I right in saying no real explanation was given?
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited October 2021 Posts: 5,869
    timmyv123 wrote: »
    Can anyone explain what happened with Primos allegiance during it? He started off working for spectre then he is involved in wiping them out and is working for Safin lol. Pretty sure he was working for spectre too when he kidnapped Valdo so am I right in saying no real explanation was given?
    There's a scene that you could miss but when they're analysing Blofeld's eye, they show Primo meeting with Ash, which if I remember correctly is his recruitment. He wasn't involved in wiping SPECTRE out, Valdo did that secretly without Primo knowing.
  • Posts: 2,400
    I'm not making this up and yes it's nothing to do with the quality of the film, the simple financial maths are that this movie will undoubtably loose money, it lost $18 million net in interest payments alone because of the delays which means an extra $72 million gross at the box office to cover this plus for every additional month the loan is not payed off you need $4 million at the box office, big budget movie finance is as precarious as shorting an Aviation Manufacturer with Bond around..... ;)

    It all comes from a piece-of-crap article at MI6 HQ that doesn't account for even one dollar of the massive product placement deals this movie has. Subtract the numbers you mention above and you're still alleging that they made a movie that has to outgross the last one just to break even. And by the way, if you apply the same math to the other Craig films, probably only Skyfall made money at all. And that's nonsense.

    Your entitled to your view as am I, however after leaving the forces I retrained as a financial accountant obtaining a degree from the Open University, so I'm speaking from a position of some understanding, are you? I maybe retired now but high finance as I'm aware hasn't changed much, sorry if I seem condescending but I've had to fight long & hard to convince so many people with their head in the sand during my career that I get a bit cranky.

    Did you learn about how EON Productions finances it's movies and are you aware of how much money they get from non-box office deals? I read the source of the $928 million break-even point and it is obvious nonsense.

    You're both right.

    Yes it's true that they have placement and merchandising deals that will more than recoup any losses they might suffer from NTTD's box office - most if not all franchise films since at least Star Wars have had the same - but from a PURELY box office standpoint it's also true that the movie will lose money if they come short of about $900mil because of costs involved with the delays, with re-re-re-marketing the film, etc. Again, if that happens, they'll make the money back through other avenues RELATED to NTTD, so it's no problem for the company, but making a profit JUST at the box office looks to be a tall order even if NTTD is one of the absolute most successful films in the series.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    edited October 2021 Posts: 1,689
    I'm not making this up and yes it's nothing to do with the quality of the film, the simple financial maths are that this movie will undoubtably loose money, it lost $18 million net in interest payments alone because of the delays which means an extra $72 million gross at the box office to cover this plus for every additional month the loan is not payed off you need $4 million at the box office, big budget movie finance is as precarious as shorting an Aviation Manufacturer with Bond around..... ;)

    It all comes from a piece-of-crap article at MI6 HQ that doesn't account for even one dollar of the massive product placement deals this movie has. Subtract the numbers you mention above and you're still alleging that they made a movie that has to outgross the last one just to break even. And by the way, if you apply the same math to the other Craig films, probably only Skyfall made money at all. And that's nonsense.

    Your entitled to your view as am I, however after leaving the forces I retrained as a financial accountant obtaining a degree from the Open University, so I'm speaking from a position of some understanding, are you? I maybe retired now but high finance as I'm aware hasn't changed much, sorry if I seem condescending but I've had to fight long & hard to convince so many people with their head in the sand during my career that I get a bit cranky.

    Did you learn about how EON Productions finances it's movies and are you aware of how much money they get from non-box office deals? I read the source of the $928 million break-even point and it is obvious nonsense.

    You're both right.

    Yes it's true that they have placement and merchandising deals that will more than recoup any losses they might suffer from NTTD's box office - most if not all franchise films since at least Star Wars have had the same - but from a PURELY box office standpoint it's also true that the movie will lose money if they come short of about $900mil because of costs involved with the delays, with re-re-re-marketing the film, etc. Again, if that happens, they'll make the money back through other avenues RELATED to NTTD, so it's no problem for the company, but making a profit JUST at the box office looks to be a tall order even if NTTD is one of the absolute most successful films in the series.

    No question! But yeah, the film doesn't make money on box office only and I'm not sure they ever did, so here simply is no $900 million break even point. I just have a bee in my bonnet about it because it's staggering how one piece of click bait rubbish can spread a cross the press until its "conventional wisdom".
  • Okay...I've seen it twice and feel I can now really contextualise my thoughts.

    NTTD, at heart, is a traditional Bond film, and that’s part of its pleasures. For a large part of its runtime, NTTD is actually a fun and entertaining film. The extra kicker is that the movie wants to do full justice to the emotional thrust of this being Daniel Craig’s exit from the series. And it does.

    It's quite brave that they doubled down on the mythology from the Craig era. In this respect the film has a cumulative impact that, at times, is reminiscent of The Dark Knight Rises.

    james-bond-007.gif

    The opening is terrific. Fukunaga bravely wrong-foots the audience with the introduction in Norway and the sequence is rather haunting. It's involving as the young Madeleine (excellently played by Coline Defaud) is sympathetic and clearly outmatched. The sinister introduction for Safin is also note perfect. The match-cut to Matera is expertly handled and the entire opening sequence is just about the best action setpiece to kick off a Bond film there has been. You have to hand it to Cary Fukunaga for reintroducing the spectre of Vesper for that sequence; it makes Madeleine's 'betrayal' so much more impactful. The best part of the action sequence is that beat inside the car where Madeleine begs Bond to act yet he sits stony faced. It's such a tense bit of character work in the middle of a noisy action sequence.

    The titles are a little disappointing. I couldn't get over quite how 'meh' they were. Some images are evocative and compelling. But so much of it feels pared down and uneventful. It's a shame as Billie Eilish's song is so good - but the images are not elevated by the song.

    eMl92uR.png

    I suppose this feels like the perfect point to discuss Daniel Craig. He has a gift of a role to play this time. I have to say, Craig is seriously excellent in this film. It's up there with CR as his best performance as Bond. Firstly, he looks terrific as the wizened, rough spy. He wears his years well and has that leathery ruggedness to him. He's very convincing as the worldweary spy and killer. The deep lines to his face marking those vivid blue eyes have always had a weary sentiment. They’re flexed to a sharpened effect here as the apparent scars only make each punch feel harder, each kick more difficult to recover from. Linus Sandgren frames Craig as the battle-scarred soldier back from war (DC owes Linus a drink as he photographs him lovingly throughout NTTD).

    Craig is having more fun in NTTD and his performance feels looser, more charismatic than ever (dare I even say a little camp). Equally, he's perfect as the stoic, romantic hero. There is a great feeling of finality to his performance, which is aided perfectly by a very game Fukunaga - who isn't afraid to make Bond vulnerable, angry and (as Blofeld says) sensitive.

    H1CYvCw.png

    Fukunaga himself is in seriously good form here. You can see his fingerprints. Especially in the themes (childhood trauma, cycles of violence and nature of time) and the filmmaking craft on display. There is some seriously elegant filmmaking on show here. Also, Fukunaga adds shocks of excitement by employing his rough and tumble, one-camera guerilla-style. That missile silo scene imbues the typically slick Bond with a dirty, visceral edge. It also matches Craig’s brawling style better than any other director he has had in the series.

    With Fukunaga at the helm, NTTD aptly balances the franchise’s classic construct yet totally remakes what a Bond movie can be for a fitting, touching end to Craig’s tenure. The film is clearly hinting at OHMSS, but it's really YOLT and TSWLM that Fukunaga is aping. His handling of the relationship with Madeleine feels authentic - Seydoux is as dependently excellent as ever. However, the real performance that wins the film comes in the unexpected form of Lisa-Dorah Sonnet as Mathilde. She's so charming and cute. You can see why Bond actually allows himself to contemplate a life outside of MI6 for her.

    Which brings me to that scene. Personally, I loved it. When I saw they were doing it I was totally sold. My heart broke when I saw Safin shoot Bond (something that no villain in 25 films had thought to do) and then poison 007. Craig plays that sequence perfectly; never allowing Bond seem like the victim. It has an almost poetic grace to it. When the missiles landed, I really felt something hit me in the chest emotionally. The ending is perfectly in tune with the sentiment established by Ian Fleming: Bond lives in the shadows and has resigned himself with the knowledge that men like him do not get normal lives. Often Bond would dream about being normal, but know that he had to play the role expected of him. The tragedy for Bond in NTTD, is that he starts as a man without a reason to live and ends with a family worth dying for. The film cruelly reminds Bond that he cannot have a normal life. It's truly heartbreaking. The Louis Armstrong song perfectly adds some honey to that brutal ending.

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    The film is not perfect though. It's positively drowning in plot and much of the convoluted ideas didn't really come into focus until a second viewing. The simple issue is that Heracles is just silly spy movie nonsense. The internal logic surrounding the device are confusing and illogical. It's a bit daft and feels more like something from a Mission Impossible or Marvel film - perhaps too fantastical for the Craig-era. I cannot fault them for thinking that a global pandemic was a more interesting device than the villain having an atomic bomb or whatever (it's way more timely than we would have thought), but the instantaneous and corny way people died was a bit lame.

    There's a cartoonish grandeur to NTTD. At times it feels like 'a bit too much' - especially when they introduce so many gadgets and other silly elements (I'm looking at you Blofeld's magic eyeball). These moments are at odds tonally with the more serious movie NTTD wants to be. In this respect, the film is slightly uneven.

    The film's attempts at humour are also pretty bad - especially every scene with David Denick. If you're looking for scenes to cut in this almost three hour film, then you should start there. However, Ben Whishaw is once again the MVP and makes the film particularly funny. His chemistry with Craig is excellent. Ralph Fiennes delivers a marvellous turn as M. His involvement in creating Heracles gives the character some meat to deal with. Naomie Harris is wasted (remember, she even went to Jamaica to promote the launch).

    In respect to the new ladies: Paloma is terrific. The espionage logistics between Bond and her are so impeccably timed that they give off a ripe erotic charge. Lashana Lynch is great as Nomi. However, I really wanted to love her character and I just didn't. I feel they wasted the potential friction between having the new and old 007 going head to head. Initially, there is some fun one-upmanship, but it fizzles out with Nomi becoming too deferential to Bond. She is not helped by the fact that she gets lost in the middle of the film. It's shame as Nomi kicks arse, but perhaps suffers as the film is overstuffed with characters.

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    The jury was a little out on Rami Malek after my first viewing. The people I saw the film with the second time weren't impressed, but I think I like his performance. Malek is suitably creepy and clearly underplaying it (but somehow still chewing the scenery). His dialogue scenes are pretty interesting and he's compelling. I kinda wish Safin had a better motivation. Nevertheless, he has a brilliant lair, a sinister mask and a great costume. That final scene with him and Bond is a hall of fame moment for me.

    NTTD is ridiculously watchable entertainment which feels like half its actual running time. Craig is at his most real and emotionally bruised. He never lets you forget that there’s a wounded, vulnerable human being beneath the licensed-to-kill MI6 agent. The movie’s big issue is that it's uneven - both silly and serious. It’s not until the last act when Craig takes the wheel that NTTD finds its emotional balance. It's an interesting choice by Fukunaga - in that NTTD is preposterousness but also touching and surprising.

    Simply put, NTTD cements Daniel Craig has the definitive James Bond. Craig leaves it all on the field and goes above and beyond in every scene. For that alone, it gets the 5 star treatment.

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
  • tqbtqb
    Posts: 1,022
    Completely agree @Pierce2Daniel

    Craig's tenure as literally left the door open for and proven the the producers can do what they want. I love Bond but keeping everything formulaic all the time will make it go stale. He has needed to evolve to survive, and that's what Craig has done.
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